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discovered that their fortifications were of no avail against their assailants. Several of the principal towns, including the capital Tali, were captured ; and when some Mongol officers were murdered, Kublai would have exacted a terrible revenge but for the exhortations of Yaochu to punish only the guilty and to spare the innocent. After this decisive success, further resistance on the part of the people of Yunnan stopped, and Kublai returned to Shensi, leaving Uriangkadai in chief command. After Kublai's departure, Uriangkadai carried on operations with great vigour. Surrounded on all sides by independent tribes, and in the midst of a hostile population, he saw that his best chance of safety lay in unceasing activity. His first expedition was against the Toufan or Tibetan tribes, who had attained the zenith of their power some centuries before, and were now rapidly declining, but who had not yet forgotten all their martial prowess. Having inflicted several defeats upon these turbulent people, Uriangkadai turned his success to greater account by enlisting many of them in his service. He thus increased his small army by the addition of a valuable auxiliary corps, and, flushed with success, turned his arms in the direction of Burmah. The King of Ava and the numerous tribes that then held, and still hold, the fringe of country between China and the northern kingdoms of the IndoChinese peninsula, were next compelled to recognize the Mongol power, which had now made itself supreme to the south-west of the Sung territory. The bold enterprise conceived by Kublai was thus crowned with the most complete success. Kublai's return to Shensi had been caused by the growing feeling of jealousy against him at his brother's court. Mangu himself had not been proof against the malign influences of his detractors, and, in A.D. 1257, took the extreme step of removing him from the high posts which he held in China. Kublai had none of the patience under personal injustice which moralists laud, and he gave some signs of an intention to resist with force the decree of the Great Khan. But his Mentor, Yaochu, was fortunately at hand to restrain his ardour, although it required a more than usual effort on the
part of this experienced minister to induce him to repress the promptings of his indignation. The term of his disgrace was not to be lengthy, and the blunders of those appointed to his place speedily produced his full justification. They strove to undo everything he had done for the Chinese, but their precipitate and ill-judged action only entailed their complete condemnation.
Kublai went in person to Mangu, protesting his innocence of the ulterior designs with which he had been charged, while each day showed more and more how indispensable he was for the proper administration of affairs in China. Mangu, greatly affected at the sight of his brother, forgave him his imaginary crime and reinstated him in his offices. To give increased importance to the occasion, and at the same time to show that he was resolved to take a more active part in the war, Mangu collected a large army and announced his intention of leading it in person against the Sungs. Kublai was appointed to a command under him, and his next brother Arikbuka was left in charge of Mongolia.
In the meanwhile Uriangkadai's career of success in Yunnan continued. Tonquin had been added to those states already dependent upon his authority, and an outrage offered to his envoys had been amply avenged in the streets of Kiaochi, the capital. But while the Mongols had been thus successful in the far south, the Chinese had re-entered Szchuen in greater force, and their increased garrisons occupied positions severing the Mongol communications with the army in Yunnan. That army, although victorious over the local levies, could not hope to long resist on its own unaided strength any determined attack on the part of the Sungs. That the Sungs were meditating an attack on Uriangkadai's exposed rear was made sufficiently plain by their increasing activity in Szchuen. If a large Mongol army was not to be left in a dangerous dilemma it was therefore high time for Mangu and his generals to bestir themselves."
Mangu began his march in the winter of A.D. 1257, when the ice still upon the Hoangho enabled his army to cross that barrier without delay. The Mongol army was then divided into three bodies, one to operate in each of the provinces,
Shensi, Houkwang, and Kiangnan, while Uriangkadai was ordered to march northwards and, if possible, to join Kublai. The hostile forces were thus converging upon the last of the Chinese kingdoms from four sides. Although there were encounters at the other points, the details are only preserved of those which were fought in Szchuen, where Mangu commanded in person ; and here the resistance was of a stubborn character. In the neighbourhood of Chentu in particular the struggle was carried on with great bitterness. At one time in the possession of the Mongols, and then retaken by the Sungs, its fate was not finally decided until Mangu's arrival with the main army, when the Sungs withdrew their forces. Several victories followed, but they were all gained at such heavy cost that the result of the campaign cannot be considered to have been anything more than very dubious. The Sungs fought throughout with bravery against their adverse fortune, and the Mongols progressed at a slow rate. An anxious consultation was held by their commanders at the end of the winter A.D. 1258–59, to decide whether they should return for the summer months to the north, or remain to prosecute the war. It was decided to remain, and active hostilities continued without intermission. The new campaign began with the siege of Hochau, an important town in Szchuen, which had been entrusted to the charge of a brave and faithful officer named Wangkien. To the Mongol summons to surrender he replied by the arrest of the envoy, thus expressing his resolve to defend the place to the bitter death. The Mongol detachments marched from all quarters to the siege of this important place, and the garrison nerved itself to pass triumphantly through the coming ordeal. While Wangkien held bravely on to his post, another Chinese general, Luwenti, endeavoured by all the means in his power to harass the movements of the Mongols; so that Mangu very soon found that the capture of Hochau was a task of unusual difficulty. He might have succeeded in the end, when the garrison's stock of provisions had been exhausted, could he only have maintained his own position outside the walls long enough ; but to the losses in the field were very soon added the ravages of dysentery, the plague of Eastern
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armies. The siege continued throughout six months, and might have proceeded still further but for the death of the head Khan Mangu, who fell a victim to this disease. The Mongol generals at once resolved to retire into Shensi and to abandon for this occasion the attempt to seize Hochau. Mangu's death, which seemed at first sight calculated to arrest the Mongol campaigns against the Sungs, proved in reality the cause of their speedy and triumphant consummation, by again bringing Kublai to the front as their director. The troubles which immediately followed the death of the Khan Mangu produced a lull in the war, but, as soon as these were temporarily settled, Kublai turned all his attention to the consolidation of his position in the new sphere he had chosen, which was the Chinese Empire, in preference to an authority, weakened in significance, over the disjointed sections of the Mongol people. Kublai was Mangu's proper heir, but his younger brother Arikbuka held possession of the centre of power in Mongolia. Arikbuka was also supported by all those who had grudged Kublai his good fortune and who had intrigued against him during the life of Mangu. It was clearly unsafe for Kublai to trust himself within his brother's power, but unless he went to Karakoram to attend the Kuriltai of the nation it was impossible to give validity to his proclamation as Mangu's successor. Kublai took a short road out of the difficulty by holding a council of his chief officers and supporters near Pekin, when he assumed the functions and authority of the Great Khan. Arikbuka and the mass of the Mongols refused to recognize this illegal proceeding, and Arikbuka, with all the necessary formalities, and supported by the principal members of his House, took the same title at Karakoram. There can be no doubt that Arikbuka made up for much of the weakness of his claim by the manner of his election and by his popularity among the Mongols. In A.D. 1261 Kublai marched at the head of a large army upon Karakoram, and, having defeated his brother, made good the superiority of his claims in the most forcible way that is recognized. Arikbuka fled to the Kirghiz, but he soon accepted the generous terms cffered him by his brother,
He was reinstated in the rank due to a prince of the blood; but Kublai returned to China, whither his tastes urged him, with the fixed determination to bring the long wars in that country to a conclusion. Discord within the ranks of the Mongols was to break out again at a later period and to cause grave anxiety to Kublai. But it became a matter of secondary importance, for henceforth we have to think of Kublai not as the Great Khan of the Mongols, but as the first Emperor of the Yuen dynasty of China.